The Samsung NX1 gets the baseball bat test

Just how good is Samsung's new pro-spec compact system camera?

The headline stories with the Samsung NX1 are its 28-megapixel BSI (back-side illuminated) sensor, 15fps continuous shooting (faster than any pro D-SLR) and 4K video capability.

But it also has a highly sophisticated NX AF System III hybrid autofocus which covers the entire frame with 205 phase-detection AF points, of which 153 are accurate cross-type points.

Phase detection AF was once restricted to DSLRs with separate phase-detection sensors. These are faster and more responsive than the regular contrast AF system in compact cameras and (until recently) compact system cameras.

But a new breed of CSCs have phase-detection AF built into the sensor, and the Samsung NX1 is right at the cutting edge.

Wait for it…

A by-product of the NX1's raw speed and AF sophistication is a clever little mode called Auto Shot that waits to fire the shutter until exactly the right moment.

Actually, it's two modes: 'Baseball' and 'Jump Shot'.

Using a combination of motion detection and movement prediction algorithms, the NX can, Samsung claims, time the shot for the instant the baseball hits the bat or the moment your subject hits the peak of their jump.

Not possible? Techradar's Test Team tried it out and, although it doesn't work every single time, it works often enough to be really rather impressive.

You have to do a certain amount of setting up, placing the camera on a tripod and positioning your batter in exactly the right place. After that, though, you just press the shutter release, send in your pitcher and let the camera pick the perfect moment to fire the shutter.

Samsung NX1 Auto Shot Baseball mode

Top marks for style, but the timing could be better

Samsung NX1 Auto Shot Baseball mode

Getting closer...

Pros might not want to trust it for unrepeatable sporting moments, but as a tool for capturing staged action shots it could be very effective.

Besides, we got to play baseball in the park for an hour instead of working.